I grew up in a household of readers. It seemed to me that everyone always had their noses in books. My grandma, who lived with us, often had her big old Bible open on her ample lap and other reading materials (magazines and books) open nearby. My grandma was also an actress and a wonderful storyteller. She did professional “readings.” She memorized things like “The Gift of the Magi” and performed them at churches and grange halls and many other places. (Somewhere in the house, I have some of her old books with the pencil markings of what to memorize.) My greatest regret is that she died before the ease of recording arrived on the scene. I remember sitting near her chair, listening to her stories with rapt attention. I just don’t remember the stories themselves.
Anyway, I wanted to learn to read too. I didn’t go to kindergarden, so my first chance to learn to read was first grade. (I don’t know why my mom didn’t teach me before I started school.) So on that momentous first day of school, I had one goal in mind: to learn to read. But something awful happened. They didn’t teach me to read on that very first day. I went home and told my mom I wasn’t going back. Why bother if they wouldn’t teach me to read?
Fortunately for me, quitting school at the age of six was not an option. I did go back and I did learn to read. See Spot Run.